Over the course of 2020, competition among Australia’s already highly competitive next-generation mobile communications networks continued to intensify as the rollout of new technologies and the promise of greatly enhanced functionality drove innovation and greater customer engagement. At the time of writing, Optus, Telstra and Vodafone were the key players in the local mobile type communications scene, with all of these leading telcos committed to expanding growing their respective 5G broadband networks.
While the COVID-19 pandemic forced many of Australia’s retail stores to close down either temporarily or permanently, others were encouraged to evolve to become more efficient and resilient in the face of significant challenges such as those presented by the COVID-19 situation. This involved many of the retailers in question turning to a diverse range of technologies that enable them to interact with their customers in both the remote and proximity environments.
The increasing use of artificial intelligence (AI) remained one of the most important stories in Australia’s digital landscape at the end of the review period. The main aims of the shift towards the greater use of AI include improving customer loyalty and optimising logistics systems.
Among the most promising of Australia’s current crop of emerging online pure play retailers is The Iconic, and online apparel and footwear specialist retailer. The Iconic makes use of data to improve the customer experience on its website and allow humans to do human things more quickly and effectively than before while focusing on letting computers to do the computer things.
As the COVID-19 pandemic continued to inhibit commercial activity in key sectors of the Australian economy throughout 2020, it became increasingly difficult for apparel and footwear specialist retailers to attract customers into their stores. In response, numerous apparel and footwear brands and retailers invested in augmented reality (AR) technology in an effort to showcase their wares online.
Apparel and footwear was not the only industry to see a shift towards the use of augmented reality (AR) in response to the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. The automotive industry also witnessed a shift towards the use of AR with the launch by Hyundai of a browser-based AR experience that enabled customers to explore the marque’s range of cars whilst showrooms were closed due to the impact of COVID-19 social distancing restrictions.
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